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April 14, 2024 

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ABSOLUTE POVERTY LEVEL: The amount of income a person or family needs to purchase an absolute amount of the basic necessities of life. These basic necessities are identified in terms of calories of food, BTUs of energy, square feet of living space, etc. The problem with the absolute poverty level is that there really are no absolutes when in comes to consuming goods. You can consume a given poverty level of calories eating relatively expensive steak, relatively inexpensive pasta, or garbage from a restaurant dumpster. The income needed to acquire each of these calorie "minimums" vary greatly. That's why some prefer a relative poverty level.

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EXCESS RESERVES

The reserves (vault cash and Federal Reserve deposits) that banks have over and above what they are required by government to keep to back up deposits. The primary use of excess reserves, also termed free reserves, is for loans to consumers and businesses. Because reserves do not generate interest, revenue, or profit, banks are inclined to keep as few excess reserves as possible.

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Collecting WELFARE

I know word travels quickly among pedestrians of Shady Valley, but perhaps you haven't heard the latest. Pollyana Pumpernickel, the proprietor of Pollyana's Pet Palace, is no longer a pet proprietor. She's fallen on hard times, and fallen quite hard. Her husband of twelve years, Paul Pumpernickel has dumped her and their three young children to pursue insurance alternatives with Tricia Comer -- Smilin' Ted's sister and business partner in the All Comers Insurance Agency. Pollyana is distraught, to say the least. Paul Pumpernickel had been the dutiful househusband and caring father in his marriage partnership with Pollyana, but those duties fell onto the heavily burdened shoulders of Pollyana. The burden was too much. Pollyana's Pet Palace plundered into oblivion, leaving Pollyana penniless and jobless. Her only alternative was our government's public assistance program -- what you and I know as welfare. She's not pleased with her current social status, and neither, apparently is Winston Smythe Kennsington III, who ridicules poor Pollyana at every opportunity.
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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time lost in your local discount super center looking to buy either a weathervane with a chicken on top or a flower arrangement with daisies and carnations for your uncle. Be on the lookout for broken fingernail clippers.
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